(U//FOUO) The Ohio State Highway Patrol Criminal Intelligence Unit recently partnered with the Ohio Strategic Analysis and Information Center (SAIC) and gathered information regarding bath salts via a survey. The objective of the study was to assist Law Enforcement by creating an officer safety awareness product relating to the dangers of encountering people on bath salts.
(U//FOUO) A survey was distributed to law enforcement and 5 agencies responded back with pertinent information regarding the use and possession of bath salts. The agencies which contributed to this analysis are as follows:
Barberton Police Department, OH; Ohio State Highway Patrol; Powell Police Department, OH; Reynoldsburg Division of Police; and West Virginia State Police – Wheeling Division (Parcel Interdiction).
(U//FOUO) Information was obtained on 161 incidents involving bath salts.
(U//FOUO) OVERVIEW AND ANALYSIS OF RESULTS:
- Out of the 161 incidents reported, officers made 77 arrests involving bath salt use/possession. Many of the incidents occurred before legislation was passed; therefore mere possession was not criminal at the time of many of these reports.
- There were 27 use of force reports involving bath salts.
- There were 3 incidents that involved fleeing of suspects.
- 7 suspects were taken to hospital associated with bath salt use.
- 7 offenders were pinked slipped and taken to mental health facilities.
- There were 4 reports of deaths associated with bath salt use (Note: cause of death results did NOT find that bath salts use was the sole contributor in any of these deaths).
- There was 1 report of suicide; 2 suicide attempts; and 1 suicide threat involving bath salt use.
- Suspects reported paying approximately $20-$25 for bath salts.
- The offenders reported multiple ways of using bath salts including: snorting, injection with a needle syringe, and drinking the bath salts by mixing it with fluid.
- Many offenders admitted to combining bath salts with other drugs.
- When reported, most people said they got the bath salts from independently owned convenient stores and drive-thrus, gas stations or markets. A WV State Police (parcel narcotics interdiction) Officer reported that a prominent internet company is: Southern Burn LLC from South Carolina.
(U//FOUO) OFFICER SAFETY CONCERNS
- Use of force incidents included: use of Taser (3 incidents), hands on, escorts, restrained by medical professionals, and bean bag use.
- One “officer in trouble” call was reported, involving an officer fighting with a person on bath salts.
- Both officers in a Reynoldsburg Police case were surprised after a Taser was used on a suspect. They explained that the Taser was shot and the probes penetrated in the torso of the suspect, however it had minimal effects; the suspect fought through the electric current and rose to his feet.
- Injuries sustained to suspects included: bruises, cuts, Taser punctures, and minimal injuries from bean bag rounds.
- Officers sustained injuries including: injury to knee, injury to back, injury to groin, ankles, scrapes and bruises, and multiple injuries from strikes to the face.
- 2 officers and 7 offenders were taken to the hospital resulting from physical force.
- One incident involved the use of the SWAT team and another involved escalated use of force involving bean bag rounds.
(U//FOUO) PHYSIOLOGICAL REACTIONS FROM BATH SALT USE
- Suspects showed the following physical reactions to bath salts: Hyperventilation, cramps, dehydration, vomiting, shaking, loss of memory, pale, emaciated, jittery, lethargy, incoherent speech, rambling, rapid movement, rapid speech, disoriented, itchy skin, and several suspect admitted to a lack of sleep for multiple days.
- An offender described bath salts as giving him a “cocaine rush” and it being a very “intense” high.
- Witnesses described bath salt users as:
- Hostile, violent, unpredictable, out of control, paranoid, and reckless.
- Additional reports by Law Enforcement involving people on bath salts:
- Officer described one suspect as having unusual superhuman strength.
- Officer described suspect as shooting off the ground like a “flash of light.”
- One suspect bent the hinged handcuffs during the arrest.
- The following hallucinations were reported:
- A hit-skip offender said he saw a brick wall, which in turn caused a crash.
- A male, using bath salts, reported raccoons setting fire inside his home. As a result, he proceeded to destroy his home and used a hatchet to cut up his deck, while attempting to locate the fire-setting raccoons. He also believed the raccoons stole his cell phone.
- A male, using bath salts, believed he was being followed by police helicopters and police officers were using mirrors, snipers and different types of scopes to look through his walls. He called police requesting to negotiate with them, however there were no police at the residence when the call was made.
- During the course of speaking to an offender and officer reported, he yelled, “AT&T calling, may I help you, AT&T is calling, a million dollars, two black guys……it’s not a racial thing, it’s not a racial thing.”
- A bath salt user reported he hears voices; one voice was going to beat him with a ball bat.
- The domestic violence offender using bath salts reported his mother was practicing demonology & witchcraft and she was poisoning his food. He was arrested for choking her.
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